Moshpit Advocacy: Napalm Death On the Campaign for Musical Destruction (Barney Greenway Interview) – Invisible Oranges

The Music Hall of Williamsburg was the site of one of the latest dates for the "Campaign for Musical Destruction" tour on October 28th, their first of two consecutive NYC dates. This date featured most of the lineup from the tour. In order of appearance: MDC, Frozen Soul, Brujeria, and Napalm Death, with Cryptic Slaughter the lone absent band seeing as they remained only for the West Coast dates. MDC opened things with a punk fury that has entered its fifth decade, and Dave Dictor and crew are still plenty pissed at world events.


Following was Frozen Soul’s ice-laden death metal onslaught which featured a few tracks off of a freshly recorded sophomore album. Their slowly-played music had the fans build up energy before vocalist Chad Green demanded the appropriate level of violence from the crowd. The gargantuan singer also paused his set to remind those in the crowd of the importance of mental health, seeing as he recently lost one of his brothers; his other brother was part of the road crew and came to the side stage before the band ripped into another pummeling track off of Crypt of Ice.


Brujeria were next and brought a 3 vocalist attack with plenty crowd favorites from Raza Odiada and Brujerizmo to the delight of anglophones and hispanophones alike. Joining the band on stage was La Bruja (Jessica Pimentel) as she brought her raucous energy to the stage with gravel throated vocals that would make bandmate Juan Brujo blush. Finally, Napalm Death’s set was massive in scale and pulled from plenty of different albums including their 2020 release Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism. They even featured late 1990s material, which has been divisive amongst fans over the years, but it sounded fresh and powerful in the live setting.


I managed to catch up with Barney Greenway, Napalm Death vocalist, prior to the show to talk about touring after Covid and putting together this massive tour. We also spoke at length about influences on their sound as well as fans and non-fans alike sharing their feelings of the band on the internet only for an intrepid Mr. Greenway to find them. Read on below for more.


What was it like to play in the US after the craziness of the last few years?
Barney Greenway: It was alright actually. Everybody was a bit nervous, because of the Covid stuff and we lasted almost the entire tour, but we caught it right at the end and I couldn’t even travel back home to the UK. I was stuck and so were a couple of the other guys, but they got through it faster and I was here longer. It was rough and I was pretty much delirious. I’m quite fit and I still got a dose of it. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes through the rest of the year.
When you were putting together the tour, what was it like getting this lineup together?
BG: We had a list of bands that we wanted, started making some calls and saw who was available. It’s great to have MDC, a band that I grew up with, them and other punk bands, so that means a lot to have them here. These were the best bands to pique the interest of fans.
I know you’ve played on some interesting tours over the years, I seem to remember a particular tour with Melt-Banana and Melvins at Webster Hall in NYC.
BG: The thing with Napalm is that we can put our hands to anything, hopefully we aren’t a one trick pony as a band. We have many strings to bow and we try to play different things, which keeps it interesting for fans and ourselves too. In isolation we are a metal band, we really aren’t just that, metal is just a part of it. The band is not very easily categorized, as some people like to do.
A track like “Amoral” off the last record is a perfect example of just that.
BG: We’re got a wealth of influences and we’re going to try and apply the best of what we can see what happens. When you cast your net wide and the stuff you like will stay with you, including things outside the metal world, with a bit of a Napalm touch.
Your cover of “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” is a perfect example of that.
BG: Funny that you mention that song, because I found an old post that we did with Glassjaw in the UK and there was a comment from a Glassjaw fan mentioned that Napalm Death was one of the worst live bands that he had ever seen as he mentioned that “they took a classic punk song and made it completely unrecognizable”. I thought about and said hang on a minute, what did you think you were going to get? If you’re going to cover a song, one of the better ways to do it and to play it so that it isn’t recognizable, but everybody’s welcome to their opinion, all are welcome.
What’s in the pipeline for Napalm at the moment?
BG: Just touring at the moment, we may look to make another album next year, but if the tour schedule is too heavy, it may be a little while yet. The Covid stuff killed the live element and even a 2 year old album might still be fresh here.
Any upcoming guest spots for yourself, seeing as you had been busy with those for quite a while?
BG: Nothing at the moment, but most recently I did a guest spot on the new Bloodbath because Nick is an old mate of mine. I got asked during the Pandemic to do a few things but I wasn’t going to be in a studio during all that.
What was it like playing Decibel Metal and Beer as a joined Harmony Corruption/Utopia Banished set?
BG: It was good fun, although it isn’t something that we would usually do, not wanting to become another band that just plays legacy sets. It becomes increasingly difficult to get some of the songs involved. Different people come from different eras and we play a little bit of everything.
What should a first time listener to Napalm Death’s live set be prepared to do?
BG: Just pin your ears back. Experience the outburst of fucking horrible noise. Once you can live with that you might just dig in to the music, and get into the layers. The ideas expressed in the music are just as important as the music itself. Take the observations and chew them over and see what you think yourself.
As a new fan I didn’t quite know what to make of it, but I was into it and wanted to peel back some of the layers.
BG: Yeah, you and a whole bunch of other people have said the same thing. Napalm is a very special band to me, even before I was playing in it.
Anything else to add?
BG: I hope that people like the lineup, and they come out to the shows. After the Covid things have been lifted and people are able to come out, we hope to see more people out there.

Remaining "Campaign for Musical Destruction" Tour Dates:
11/11 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
11/12 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
11/13 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
11/14 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
11/16 – El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse Outdoors
11/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
11/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Nile Theater
11/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco Theater

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